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Constitutional Law

SCOTUS Likely to Side with Coach in School Prayer case

Listening to the oral argument today in the case involving Coach Joseph Kennedy from Bremerton Wash. I can read the writing on the wall. A door is going to be opened in the solid wall that prohibits prayer in schools. To me, the US Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed to be searching for a way […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Attack on Public Defenders as Judges Is not Just Wrong Its Unamerican

Today is GIDEON DAY. I know most people don’t celebrate it but On March 18, 1963, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the 6th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed that Mr. Gideon and all others facing serious criminal charges have the right to a lawyer, whether or not they can afford to hire one. Clarence […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Will SCOTUS Hear Case Of Texas Man Who’s Spent 27 Years in Solitary? Probably Not.

When Robert Dennis Wayne Hope was 22 years old, in 1980, he went on a robbery spree. Using a handgun he robbed five stores. No one was injured. He was sentenced to 80 years to life. After a few years in a maximum security Texas prison, he and another inmate slipped through a hole in […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Today To Hear Arguments On Issue Important to Wrongfully Convicted – Literally on a Life or Death Issue

Oral arguments are scheduled today before the US Supreme Court in the case of Shinn v. Ramirez and Jones, a case out of Arizona involving whether defendants who were convicted and sentenced to death could argue in Federal Court that their post-conviction lawyers were ineffective if they did not first make that argument in State […]

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Constitutional Law

Oklahoma turns woman’s miscarriage into a miscarriage of justice

Two weeks ago Brittney Poolaw, a 20-year-old Native American woman from Comanche County in Oklahoma, was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree for experiencing a miscarriage at 17 weeks. Her trial lasted one day after which she was sentenced to 4 years in state prison. In January of last year, Ms. Poolaw experienced a miscarriage and […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Fed Ct: Officer Immune for Arresting Florida Man with “I Eat Ass” Bumper Sticker on His Truck

In a funny-not-funny example of the wide berth given to police officers under the qualified immunity doctrine, a Federal Court in Florida dismissed a wrongful arrest suit brought by Dillon Webb after he was arrested for displaying an “I Eat Ass” bumper sticker on his truck. Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was stopped on a highway […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Can a Judge Require a Defendant to Get Vaccinated? Some are.

The NY Times reported yesterday that a State judge and a Federal Judge made getting a vaccine a requirement to a deal with criminally accused person appearing before them. In the Bronx, State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Zimmerman was taking the guilty plea of a man accused of drug crimes, trespass, criminal contempt, and shoplifting. […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Nassau Bill to Add 1st Responders as “Protected Class” is a Bad, Bad Idea

Tomorrow at the Nassau County Legislature, legislators will be debating an expansion of the County Human Rights Law. Now it took decades to get them to add Sexual Orientation to the list of protected classes so maybe they were finally getting around to adding Transgender as a protected class? Nope. Instead, four Democrats ae spearheading a […]

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Constitutional Law

Cosby Reversal Not a Vindication for Him

Online commentators and graduates of Twitter law school are screaming that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s overturning of the sexual assault conviction of Bill Cosby is a blow to the #MeToo movement and an insult to the women who came forward to testify and accuse him. While it certainly must be seen by those women as […]